Savor the rich late-summer landscape at The Morton Arboretum. Yes, the calendar says it’s fall, but pale blue and purple asters and gentians still are blooming in the prairies, anemones are bright in the gardens, and grasses are golden with touches of orange and wine. Trees are beginning to show the first touches of fall color, which will deepen with the coming of cool nights and warm, sunny days, as long as there is enough rain.
For the latest fall color updates from the Arboretum, call the Bloom 'n Color Hotline at 630-719-7955.
Visitor Center parking (Parking Lot 1): Red tints have appeared on the Jeffersred Freeman maples at the south end of the medians; leaves are yellow-green on hackberries and Peking lilacs.
Elm Collection (Parking Lot 1): American elms are turning yellow-green.
Northern Illinois and Midwest Collections (Parking Lot 2): Ohio buckeyes are dropping reddish-brown leaves and showing large spiny fruits. Leaves are beginning to lighten on coffeetrees, redbuds, and hackberries. Flowering dogwoods are showing hints of reddish-purple in their leaves and bright red fruits.
Frost Hill (Parking Lot 3): Leaves of hackberries and buckeyes are turning yellow. Drummond’s aster blooms pale-blue, snakeroot white, and goldenrod yellow. Although the view from the hill overlooking Northern Illinois and the DuPage River valley is still green, the magnolias and beech trees to the west are turning yellow.
Crabapple Lake and Rose Family Collection (Parking Lot 4): Occasional fruits on mountain-ash are starting to mature; crabapple fruits are starting to mature and turn color; black walnut leaves are just starting to turn and drop.
Crowley Marsh and Magnolia Collection (Parking Lot 5): Around the wetland, Drummond’s asters are blooming in pale blue, snakeroot is white, and goldenrod is yellow. Walnuts are turning yellow and losing their leaves.
Buckeye Collection (Parking Lot 6): Many leaves are falling from the buckeyes, showing their large spiny fruits. Some yellow can be seen in corktrees, walnuts, and lindens. Cottonwood leaves along the woodland edges are drying and dropping. Witch-hazels near Spikerush Marsh are beginning to show yellow.
Maple and Oak Collections (Parking Lots 7 and 8): Armstrong Freeman maples are showing hints of pink. Now is the time to park and walk through the Maple Collection to see the first blush of fall color on maples from around the world.
East Woods (Parking Lots 8 to 15): Along the edge of the road, Drummond’s asters are blooming in pale blue, goldenrods in bright yellow, and white snakeroot in white. Bur oaks are dropping acorns, and walnuts are dropping walnuts in their large round husks, along with a few leaves.
Big Rock Visitor Station (Parking Lot 13): Asters are blooming in blue with white snakeroot as counterpoint. Woodland sugar maples are showing hints of yellowish-green in their exposed sunny tops.
Maple and Beech Collections (Parking Lot 14): Park and walk through the Maple and Beech Collections to see the first blush of fall color on maples from around the world.
Appalachia, China and Japan Collections (Parking Lots 16 to 18): Flowering dogwoods are showing hints of reddish-purple in their leaves as well as bright red fruits. Miyabe maples are just starting to turn yellowish-green.
Sumac Collection (Parking Lot 18): Reds are just starting to show on staghorn sumac.
West Side Main Route
River Bridge: Peking lilacs and an American beech are turning yellow-green
Crabapple and Europe Collections (Parking Lot 19): Asters and yellow beggar’s ticks are the main color here. The top of the Miyabe maple along Joy Path to the west is just starting to turn yellow-green.
Founder’s Grove (Parking Lot 20): Goldenrod blooms yellow. Redbuds, coffeetrees and witch-hazels are starting to turn yellow-green. A few Virginia creepers are turning red as they climb up tree trunks.
Thornhill Education Center (Parking Lot 21): Marmo and Jeffersred Freeman maples are showing hints of pink. The leaves of redbuds, catalpas, and sycamores are turning yellow-green.
Oak savanna (Parking Lots 22 and 23): Walnuts are dropping nuts and starting to lose some leaves. Yellow-blooming goldenrods, pale-blue Drummond’s asters, and white snakeroot add color.
Pine Hill (Parking Lot 24): Pale-blue Drummond’s asters, yellow touch-me-nots, and white snakeroot are blooming.
Prairie Visitor Station (Parking Lot 25): Fall asters and gentians are blooming in shades of purple and blue. Walnut leaves are turning yellow and starting to drop.
Sterling Pond (Parking Lots 25 and 29): Blue Drummond’s asters and yellow goldenrod are blooming. Sugar maples are beginning to turn yellow-green.
Birch Collection (Parking Lots 30 and 31): The leaves that are falling from some birches show off their white or attractively textured bark.
Nut Tree Collection (Parking Lot 31): A few leaves on walnuts are turning yellow-green and dropping.
DuPage River (Parking Lot 32): Maples are showing hints of yellowish-green at their tops.
West Side Alternate Route
Sargent’s Glade (Parking Lot 26): Bur oaks are dropping acorns. Blue Drummond’s asters and yellow goldenrod are blooming. Walnuts are turning yellow and dropping some leaves.
Lake Marmo and Sterling Pond (Parking Lots 27 and 28): Walnuts, catalpas and redbuds are beginning to turn yellow-green. The north side Freeman maple is beginning to show hints of purple. Blue Drummond’s asters and yellow goldenrod are blooming.